Washington, Feb. 18 (EFE) .- President Donald Trump pardoned Edward DeBartolo Jr., former owner of the 49ers of San Francisco 49ers, who was convicted of a fraud scandal in the gambling industry.
The White House reported Tuesday on the surprising decision of the Republican president.
Legendary National Football League (NFL) players, Jerry Rice, Jim Brown, Ronnie Lott and Charles Haley were present during the official announcement.
DeBartolo, 73, was one of the main builders of the 49ers dynasty in the 80s and 90s, leading his team to win five Super Bowl titles.
The former 49ers owner was involved in one of the biggest team owner scandals in the history of the sport.
DeBartolo, in 1998, pleaded guilty to not reporting a felony when he paid $ 400,000 (370,000 euros) to the former governor of Louisiana, Edwin Edwards, to receive a game license on a ship.
After the fraud was made known by two Louisiana newspapers and that he would be formally charged, in 1997, DeBartolo resigned as owner of the 49ers.
The former owner avoided prison, but was fined one million dollars (926,000 euros) and was suspended for a year by the NFL, which he has not been able to return to.
DeBartolo also had to withdraw from the ship’s project after the state gambling board demanded the documents he handed to the grand jury.
The documents included a “non-executed agreement” between DeBartolo and Edwards, which caused the state board to cancel the project.
DeBartolo Jr. was in charge of the 49ers from 1977, and his hiring coach Bill Walsh, in 1979, allowed the San Francisco franchise to live the most successful era in its history after winning five 1982 Super Bowls titles to 1995 in the five presentations he made, with quarterback Joe Montana as a great figure, as was Rice.
Upon being suspended, DeBartolo gave control of the team to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York, and now the team is led by his nephew, Jed York.
DeBartolo was elected a member of the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 2016.